Elon Musk on hydrogen fuel-cell cars: ‘I just think that they are extremely silly’

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is not a fan of flying cars or artificial intelligence, but perhaps his biggest aversion is the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

Speaking at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit last month, Musk reiterated his critiques of the technology as both a power source and an automotive trend, saying, “I don’t want to turn this into a debate on hydrogen fuel cells, because I just think that they are extremely silly.”

“It’s just very difficult to make hydrogen, and store it, and use it in a car,” he continued. “Hydrogen is an energy-storage mechanism; it is not a source of energy. So you have to get that hydrogen from somewhere.”

Musk further expanded his point by breaking down the hydrogen extraction process.

“If you get that hydrogen from water, so you’re splitting h20, the electrolysis is extremely inefficient as an energy process,” he explained. “If you took a solar panel and used that energy from the solar panel to just charge the battery pack directly, compared to trying to split water, take the hydrogen, dump the oxygen, compress that hydrogen to an extremely high pressure or liquefy it, and then put it in a car and run a fuel cell, it is about half the efficiency. It’s terrible.”

“What would you do that?” he asked. “It makes no sense.”

Musk goes on to explain why hydrogen is a poor choice as an element, referencing its low density and volatility. You can see his whole statement in the video posted by EveryElonMuskVideo above.

The prominent CEO also spoke about Tesla’s sales in China as well as the upcoming Model X and Model 3.

(Video via EveryElonMuskVideo)

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